"Martinelli had slipped into my bed at night. For me it was a very strange thing, I was young and I had never entered the world of sexuality. At home or in my town I had never heard of sex. I felt a sense of confusion, I didn't understand what was happening," L.G. testified.
He described the situation in his hometown when he left to enter the pre-seminary as difficult socially due to gossip about his family and divorced parents. Going to the pre-seminary was a chance for "social redemption," L.G. said, claiming that this is why he did not consider leaving and returning home after the abuse started.
L.G. said he tried to make as much noise as possible during the episodes, but he either was not heard or was ignored.
He said he became paralyzed with fear that his peers would find out what was happening, or what his parents or parish priest back home, who were very proud of him, would think if they knew.
L.G. claimed that over the years, he became resigned to the abuse and did not physically react.
"I thought: do what you want, just hurry up and leave, because I want to sleep because I have school tomorrow," he said. "I liked school, it was the only moment of freedom and normality, since in the Pre-seminar we lived in a muffled way, there was no freedom of movement or thought."
According to L.G., Martinelli solicited him for sexual acts also in the "Canonica" on the third floor of St. Peter's Basilica, where the boys prepared to serve at Mass, but he was able to "escape" and no abuse ever happened in rooms or bathrooms connected to the basilica.
He said in 2009, he first spoke to the then-rector, Fr. Radice, about his problems with Martinelli, but he spoke generally and was not explicit about sexual abuse.
He said he now regrets not having been more clear, but alleged that Radice treated him badly, saying he was just "jealous," and threatening to call his family and pastor and kick him out.
The alleged victim said he longer attempted to report the abuse.
After he left the pre-seminary in 2013, L.G. stated that he met with then-Bishop of Como, Diego Coletti, not wanting to create problems, but because he needed help paying for psychological assistance.
(Story continues below)
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
According to L.G., Coletti asked him to write him a letter and advised him to "distance himself from the Church" and "live his life." L.G. said in this letter, written with the help of a priest, he claimed to have experienced psychological manipulation and "sexual violence" at the pre-seminary. The letter had no response, alleged L.G. and other than a telephone call with Coletti, there was no other contact between them.
L.G. also alleged to have had, the same year, a brief meeting with Bishop Vittorio Lanzani, in which he was explicit about the sexual violence he experienced, but again he received no response.
The alleged victim testified that he heard of occasions when Martinelli had entered the rooms of other boys at night, but he never saw abuse of others first-hand.
L.G. also claimed to have written a letter to Pope Francis in 2017 at the suggestion of another former student, Alessandro Flamini, who said he would deliver it to the pope.
According to L.G., Flamini threw the letter away because he saw his friend, Bishop Lanzani, was named in the letter.
The alleged victim testified that today he suffers from sleep disturbance, serious problems in the sexual and relational spheres, and in establishing relationships of trust with others. He said he did not continue to pursue the priesthood, because of a "disgust and total revulsion" with the Church environment and to have feelings of nausea if he even thought about entering the seminary.